notes from Nate
Activity:This year we had the best father's day ever. Dad drove us to Fort Langley in his Mustang. What a neat place! It's has a log wall going all the way around the fort. The inside was like an old fashioned village. We walked through a house with old furniture in it, and saw shop where they made horseshoes and one for making barrels.
But you know the most fun part was panning for gold. They had these long troughs of sand with water running through them. We used metal pans to sift through the sand and look for gold. I actually found a nugget! After that I didn't want to leave. Mom and Dad promised to take us back soon.
I also saw a lady dressed up in a long dress with an apron. She was sweeping hot coals out of a big oven, and then she put a baking pan in there for cornbread. Some of the kids were doing sack races, but it was too hot for me.
Oh, I forgot to mention, before we went to the Fort we had lunch in the little town. Mom was excited because they had a deli called Spill the Beans, and they made sandwiches, soup, scones and coffee. We nearly lost Mom a couple of time in the gift shops and galleries.
Age group:Our four year old suddenly became tired while we were looking inside the fortress--in other words she was bored. Our seven year old, on the other hand, loved it. I'd say children school-aged and up will enjoy it.
Expense rating:Admission costs are reasonable. All four of us got in for about $12.
:This is an outing which can make everyone happy. The town has several restored buildings, art galleries, eating places, gift shops, and last but not least, ice-cream parlours. Fort Langley is very picturesque, and you can see it by horse-drawn carriage if you choose to. The fortress is ten minutes away by foot, and it offers both adults and children lots to look at and join in if you want to.
:Fort Langley is about a 50 minute drive from North Vancouver. The freeway (Highway 1) can be congested and is not particularly scenic.To make the trip more interesting you can take the freeway up to Fort Langley, and then on the return trip home take the Albion Ferry (free) across the Fraser River and head back along Highway 7 through Haney, Port Coquitlam, and Port Moody.
Details:Open daily 10 am -5 pm; admission $5, seniors $3.75, ages 6-16 $2.50, family $12.50.
For information call (604) 513-4777.
23433 Mavis Ave., Fort Langley. To get there, go on Highway 1 east and take exit 66 (not exit 58) to Fort Langley. Check out the llamas on your right just before you take exit 66.
A good place to start your visit is the CN train station (built in 1913) which functions as a visitors information centre. The CN train station is located off Glover Road, just before the Fraser River by the railway tracks of course.
Educational highlights:This is the birth place of British Columbia where Sir James Douglas, who in 1858 proclaimed the 'Pacific mainland' a British colony. The fortress lets kids imagine what it was like to live in the area over 150 years ago. The employees are dressed in period clothing and paint colourful pictures of what people did back then. The Blacksmith shop stuck out in my mind as being very real with irons of every size and shape hanging on the walls and a waiting fire burning. The town itself has a Community Hall, church, and several other neatly restored buildings.
Fun for the adult?:I had fun browsing in the galleries and gift shops. The big bonus was finding a place we all could enjoy eating at. The walk to the fortress is very pretty. But the high point for us when Nathan struck gold! We never stopped to ask anybody if it was real or not, but I imagine they do plant some gold coloured nuggets in the sand.